So while it may seem wrong for a pharmaceutical company to gouge patients for a lifesaving piece of hardware, there may not be a safe alternative. After all, the FDA and other government regulatory agencies are in place to protect people from dangerous medical treatments, not merely as obstacles to healthcare access. And while the EpiPencil may be much cheaper than an EpiPen, it has not been proven safe or reliable. "If your child is having a life-threatening allergic reaction, you want to make sure they get the right medicine, at the right time, at the right dose," Miller told IEEE Spectrum. "But you can't guarantee that with this other device."